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Natural Resources News

Public Input Sought for Hunting and Trapping Season Proposals

Comments Accepted until March 13

Photo of hunter talking with conservation officerThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources is accepting public comment on proposed changes to the 2018-2020 hunting and trapping seasons. The department evaluates possible changes every two years.

Over the past several months, the department has presented proposed management concepts to a variety of external and internal partners and stakeholders, including farmers, hunters, trappers and other outdoor enthusiasts.

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Man Charged with Hunting Violations after Joint Investigation

Photo of Porter buckA Cumberland man was charged Wednesday by Maryland Natural Resources Police with 14 hunting violations and faces additional charges in Pennsylvania after a joint investigation by wildlife officers from both states.

Christopher Alan Porter, 37, is due in Allegany County District Court May 8. If found guilty of all charges, he could be fined $5,500.

Late last year, a Maryland officer and a counterpart on the Pennsylvania Game Commission began following leads on complaints of illegal hunting activity and zeroed in on Porter after seeing photos circulating on social media of a dead nine-point buck extending from the trunk of a white sedan. Read more…

New Workforce Training Program Provides Entry to Green Careers

Work2Live WELL Now Recruiting Applicants in Baltimore City and Cambridge

Work2Live WELL LogoThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources, in partnership with the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, today launched a new workforce development, skills and training program, Work2Live WELL, designed to provide entry into the emerging careers fields of the environment and natural resources.

With funding from the Employment Advancement Right Now (EARN) Maryland program, the pilot program is recruiting 30 adult applicants in the Baltimore City and Cambridge area.

Selected individuals will receive classroom instruction, field training, mentoring and a weekly stipend. Read more…

Free Tree Seedlings Available for Lower Eastern Shore Landowners

Available to Riparian Homeowners in Somerset and Worcester

Photo of a tree plantingThe Maryland Department of Natural Resources is offering free tree plantings to help improve water quality in targeted Lower Eastern Shore communities.

Somerset and Worcester County landowners who have a creek, drainage ditch, stream or other waterway on or near their property are eligible for free tree seedlings through the department’s Backyard Buffers program.

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Annual Survey Estimates Number of Ducks, Geese and Swans

Maryland Midwinter Waterfowl Survey Shows Increase from 2017

Photo of Canadian geese landing on water, taken by J. Scott Bruce

Photo by J. Scott Bruce

Each winter, aerial survey teams of biologists from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service make visual estimates of ducks, geese and swans along the state’s coast and shoreline. This year, teams counted about 1,023,300 waterfowl, well above the 812,600 birds observed during 2017 and higher than the five-year average of 851,980.

In general, biologists attribute much of the year-to-year variation to weather conditions in Maryland, as well as other locations on flyways used by migratory birds.

“Cold weather and accompanying ice and snow to our north will typically push birds south as they search for food and open water,” Wildlife and Heritage Service Director Paul Peditto said. “The more severe that cold weather is the more dramatic migrations to more southerly locations can be.”

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Navy, State and Nonprofits Partner to Conserve Land in Dorchester County

Farm Links Protected Areas to Create a 7,730-acre Corridor of Conserved Lands

Photo of Dorchester County farmland taken byTeena Ruark Gorrow for Chesapeake Conservancy

Photo by Teena Ruark Gorrow for Chesapeake Conservancy

A partnership between the U.S. Navy, Maryland Department of Natural Resources, The Conservation Fund, The Nature Conservancy, and the Chesapeake Conservancy has led to the permanent protection of 230 acres on a family-owned farm in Dorchester County. Spread over three parcels, the farm is made up of 135 acres of prime agricultural fields and 85 acres of forest in the Nanticoke River watershed, one of the Chesapeake Bay’s most pristine landscapes and an important habitat for migratory birds.

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Land Preservation and Recreation Survey Now Open

Citizens and Visitors Encouraged to Provide Feedback

Photo of a dog and master at beach by Ink Byers

Friends Forever by Ink Byers

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources invites residents and nonresidents to share their thoughts on land acquisition, conservation and recreation in the state by completing the Maryland Land Preservation and Recreation Plan Survey.

Individuals who complete the 3-5 minute online survey will be entered into a random drawing to win Maryland Park Service day-use passes.

The survey, which includes questions on outdoor activities, amenities and services like camping, fishing and hunting, helps guide the department’s decision-making, investments and programming.

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195 Acres Permanently Protected in Washington County

Board of Public Works Approves Two Department Items

Photo of Pleasant Valley

The Board of Public Works unanimously approved two Maryland Department of Natural Resources items today that will permanently protect 195 acres in Washington County through the department’s Rural Legacy and Conservation Reserve Enhancement permanent easement programs.

The two easements will complete the protection of the entire Pleasant Valley Livestock, LLC property in Smithsburg. Read more…

Youth Fishing Rodeos Set for 2018

Young Anglers Can Attend Free Events in 11 Different Counties

Photo of child fishingEven as winter gripped the region, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has been making plans for the state’s young anglers when spring and summer finally arrive.

This year, 38 different organizations in 11 counties across the state are hosting youth fishing rodeos, providing fun and engaging educational opportunities for nearly 5,000 children.

“This is really exciting time of year,” said Youth Fishing Rodeo Program Coordinator Mike Anderson, who works with local organizations in developing these department-sponsored events. “Fishing rodeos provide opportunities to learn basic angling skills in a fun and safe environment, develop an understanding of the environment and natural resources and provide a unique experience that fosters an interest in conservation and fishing.”

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Maple Syrup Festival Returns to Cunningham Falls State Park

Mountain Maryland Tradition Sweetens Two March Weekends

Photo of Maple Syrup Festival by Ranger Mark SpurrierSweet aromas will waft through the Catoctin Mountain air as Cunningham Falls State Park hosts its 48th Annual Maple Syrup Making Demonstrations March 10-11 and 17-18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The festivities will take place in the William Houck Area, located at 14039 Catoctin Hollow Road in Thurmont.

Maryland Park Service rangers and volunteers will demonstrate the traditional way to craft this sweet concoction, as it has been done in North American forests since before the arrival of European settlers.

Attendees are welcome to relax on a hayride and watch as sap is collected. Visitors are also invited to enjoy a hot pancake breakfast, join in children’s activities, and listen to live bluegrass and folk music in a large, heated tent.

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AccessDNR February 2018

The February 2018 edition of a monthly video newsletter hosted by Anna Lucente-Hoffmann.